Thursday, November 18, 2010
In a way it's no shock to learn that famed bandleader Cab Calloway (who died on this day in 1994) was born on Christmas Day, in 1907; not only was he prodigiously gifted, but he was incredibly generous with those gifts all his life. During the darkest years of the Great Depression, Calloway's high-energy song-and-dance-filled recordings and radio broadcasts, film and nightclub appearances livened up many a dark night, and even when he occasionally indulged in a bit of tear-mongering - such as with St. James Infirmary Blues - audiences could be guaranteed that it would be far more entertaining than mere self-pity.
Whether teamed up with Betty Boop - who sashayed her way through his classic Minnie the Moocher in a way he could only dream of - with his band or on his own, seen here taking the time out to campaign on behalf of relaxed marijuana laws with the song Reefer Man.
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